Hello to Solutionaries from the Twin Cities!

Welcome to TC SoS!

Hi all! Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Courtney Dowell, and I am one of the new program leaders in the Twin Cities team. I am very excited to be a part of Summer of Solutions for the first time and get our programs planned and underway. I wanted to give everyone an update of what we are doing here in Minneapolis and introduce our new 2012 Program Leader Team to Solutionaries.

Courtney (L) and Libby (R). Twin Cities New Program Leaders.

This year we have two new program leaders, Libby London and me. Libby and I are both seniors at the U of M and excited to be planning and leading our Urban Agriculture program. Also, on our program leader team, are veterans Ruby Levine and Daria Kieffer. Together, we are heading up four programs this summer. First, we are starting a community garden for our participants to plant, grow, and learn with the community. Second, we are partnering with other Minneapolis organizations to pilot a bike caravan to get youth to summer programs. And, in addition, we are continuing to work the Minneapolis Hubs or ARISE and Our Power.

Planning for Sunnier Days!

Currently, we are in the process of planning these four programs, conducting outreach, and working on fundraising events. Most of our focus on planning is going towards creating a community garden in South Minneapolis. We are working with a group at the University of Minnesota, in addition to the Minneapolis non-profit Gardening Matter to access resources, tools, and plants. This project requires the most attention right now, as we need to plan the garden and start the project from scratch. In terms of the other programs, we are attending planning meetings and working with partners to establish productive and fun summer programs.

Outreach is going well, so far. This past week we put up flyers in the community and started talking to community members, schools in the area, and our neighbors about Summer Solutions. Our goal is to have a big local influence and connection to South Minneapolis. So many people are interested and we are getting really excited about making community connections and getting to spend the sunny summer working in our Minneapolis community.

Lastly, we are working on an amazing fundraising event. In April, we are hosting a benefit concert. This week we are confirming our bands and securing a great location. If anyone is in Minneapolis in April come by it is going to be a great time for a great cause, as you all know!

Thanks for all the support, knowledge, and fun! I feel so welcomed and proud to be a part of this organization and team!

Courtney Dowell

Summer of Solutions Active Learning depicted by Libby London

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